T & T

This week’s Thirsty and Tasty Thursday was a struggle for me… I have awesome things to share for Fat Tuesday and Valentines (which is going to lead to my yoga pants being tooooo tight).

So what recipes do I share??? Do we do Fat Tuesday drinks and Valentine yummy OR Fat Tuesday yummy and Valentine drinks. Let me tell you the struggle was real!

Anyway I decided to do Fat Tuesday yummy and Valentine drinks.

We always celebrate Fat Tuesday just because it’s fun and great food is involved. I make 3 pig pancakes and Cajun blood orange juice for breakfast and lunch varies depending on if I have to work. We always have a party where kids play games and eat. I make shrimp po-bois, loaded sideways grits (this is crock-pot dish so that is why its a dinner thing), and Cajun crab dip.

I also make a King’s Cake. However, I leave the plastic doll out. I know I can’t write a book without someone being killed in a horrible way but this idea creeps the crap out of me.

I don’t make my own batter, I use frozen bread dough that I let thaw and raise during the day. I’ve tried the biscuits in the tube but that doesn’t do it for me.

I let the kids sprinkle the cake with the colored sugar when it’s done.

kings cake

·         FILLING:

·         1 cup packed brown sugar

·         1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

·         2/3 cup chopped pecans

·         1/2 cup all-purpose flour

·         1/2 cup raisins

·         1/2 cup melted butter

 

·         FROSTING:

·         1 cup confectioners’ sugar

·         1 tablespoon water

Purple, green, and yellow colored sugar

 Directions

1.    Filling: Combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.

2.    Roll dough out into large rectangle (approximately 10×16 inches or so). Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough and roll up like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends roll together to form oval shaped ring. Place ring on a prepared cookie sheet. With scissors make cuts 1/3 of the way through the rings at 1 inch intervals. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

3.    Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Frost while warm with the confectioners’ sugar blended with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.

 And now for Valentine drink… I have one that I call TOO DRUNK FOR SEX and I was going to do that one but then I decided to share that for Martini Saturday on Facebook (be sure to check it out…it’s super yummy) but I decided to share my chocolate cherry martini. I don’t have a pic of it so I’m sharing an internet pic. I love love this drink. chocolate-covered-cherry-martini

I use crème de cocoa instead of Godiva because it’s cheaper and the Bailey’s is super creamy so I use Godiva is drinks it star not compete 🙂 I also use whip cream flavored vodka.

My verison…

2 parts Bailey’s

1 part Crème de Cocoa

1 part cherry flavored vodka

1/2 part whip cream flavored vodka

Mix and enjoy.

 

 

It’s the Planner’s fault

 

I missed ((2))!!!! Webinars last week. This was the fault of my planner. If I had a different planner this would NEVER have happened…. I’m embarrassed to say this but I even went so far as to look at different planners.

Stay Calm. Eat a doughnut. Replace the ‘broken thing.’ This is my MO of sorts. If my balls start to fall it’s not because of ME (shock face) Oh no, it’s because of something else, like my planner.

First, I realized that I was inputting too much on my day to day sections. They were crowed and this led me to missing my webinars.

I still needed/wanted to keep track of my daily word count and pages edited. I set goals weekly and monthly so well as daily in these areas so I need to ‘see’ how I’m doing.

I also need a way to keep my VA business goals in front of me.

AND there are the day to day life things, like hair appointments, library w, and exercising that I want to keep attract of.

This is A LOT for the daily space in my current planner.  So I did what every Queen of Procrastination does… I jumped down the rabbit hole and spent two days looking at the all the amazing planners… watching countless YouTube videos…and joining Facebook planner groups… I came to the conclusion that my planner would work (heavy sigh as I climbed out of the rabbit hole). I just needed to shift HOW I WAS DOING IT…

This is a mindset I need to keep. I so often want a ‘new’ to replace whatever ‘thing’ is causing me  the problem is …

A new character outline because my characters aren’t behaving….

New outlining software because I’m not meeting my wordcount…

And the list goes on but as with my planner it is more often than not I just need to shift my mindset to get out of the rabbit hole and make this work so I can move forward.

 

20180122_120753

On the actually planner pages I use for ‘life’. I have inserts for writing/editing goals, etc

20180122_120804.jpg

I now use these note strips to track my writing and editing info

Time Capsule Journals

I love to journal. And like I many different genre (romance suspense, sweet love, fantasy, and space opera), I keep different kinds of journals. As a regular feature on Wednesday, I’m going to feature some journals I keep and why. I’ll also look at some journal books I’ve read and do a review of sorts.

Regardless of the type of journal you decide to keep, the key is making time to do it. Some journals require more time and to be done on a regular basis, while others are for special occasions. Whether you’re keeping a garden diary a dream journal, a baby journal, travel journal or a journal of any sort, the key is to feel a passion for it. A deep desire to gather the information and store it.

The first journal I’m going to highlight is the time capsule journal. I’ve kept a time capsule journal for the last four years. And honestly, it’s the only journal I go back and review regularly. I look to see what I did last year at a certain time, what did I read while on vacation, etc.

There are several differences between a time capsule journal and a daily journal. The first being the frequency of entries. A daily journal is written in on a daily or near daily bases (I personally don’t keep a daily journal. I’ll discuss the reasons in a later post but in a nutshell it doesn’t work for me)

A time capsule journal is written on a weekly or monthly bases depending on how you want to sent it up. Remember this to journal is to highlight events not record your day to day life. I do a monthly cover page…then I do weekly summaries.

20180117_123039.jpg

An example of my ‘monthly’ cover

 

20180117_123120.jpg

An example of my weekly recaps

20180117_123100.jpg

Another month cover

20180117_123136.jpg

A weekly recap

 

I’d love to hear from any other journal fans. If you do time capsule journals, I’d love to see pictures and hear how you set them up. Next week, I tell you why I like time capsule journals over daily journals.

It’s a GOAL!!!

I have found that keeping track of the ‘small’ wins or even the ‘almost’ wins can often spur me on to bigger things. Last week was on mark J I made my writing goal of 3k every day. And did at least 5 pages of edits.  I was deathly ill (like couldn’t drink wine sick) so my blogging suffered but something needed to give and I decided that was the place to fit in the throwing up. I have recovered and enjoyed my first glass of wine in 4 days last night. So I’m excited to see if I can maintain the motion from last week.

The different ways of tracking the details for my current WIP has really nudged me into a more productive path.

BUT the two things I’m realllyyyy excited about last week are my couponing efforts and my ‘re-purposing’ project (I fell a little short on the getting rid count).

Here are two pictures of from couponing success (as I said I track the small wins.)

DSCN0108

My best haul of the week – $45 dollars and spent $9.00!!!! I love love love Bath & Body Works.

My FREE haul of the week :D

My FREE haul of the week 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is last week’s re-purposing project

DSCN0111 DSCN0112

Now the guidelines are you are to re-purpose an object that you already have into something USEFUL – not maybe I’ll need it someday – but I have a need for it RIGHT now. This is an old play yard that is NOW a cozy reading den/quiet time place for my grandson. Also one of the rules is that you are to spend no money on the project… I broke it. I couldn’t help myself. He LOVES Cars… however!!!! I did find the material on clearance so all total I have under $10 invested so I’m still considering this a success.

 

 

How are your goals of the new year’s going????

Two for Tuesday

Today’s two are two things I do when I’m not writing or reading. (I consider them related activities and blogged about the marriage of writing and reading a couple of weeks back.) I believe everyone needs something that is a sharp right from what they do ‘everyday,’ even if you love what you’re doing, like I do writing. However, I need something that uses the other parts of my brain or I feel like I’m becoming a robot.

As a sufferer of shiny object disease, many things grab my attention for a hot second but then fades as another one replaces it. While I think trying new things is great… I didn’t find this rejuvenating. Actually, it drained me. So a couple of years ago, I decided I needed to develop two hobbies I would stick with while chasing others.
They are (1) crocheting – not knitting… can’t knit, it stresses me out something about having two pointy objects pointed toward my eyes (shudders) makes bad mojo for me. Here are some of the blankets I made… I donate them to Linus Project.
blog 001

stuff 002
(2) Photography – so to speak. I love to ‘take’ pictures. I have NO delusions I’m a photographer. I generally take pictures of the world around me. Last week I featured some of my pictures and how they play into my writing. I also use them for my blog header/background and on facebook. But that isn’t the purpose, it’s what I enjoy.

 

 

What are some of your hobbies?

To-Read Tuesday

I’m late posting this because I wanted to wait until I was back from the book store. As it’s the first Tuesday of the month and I always share some of what I plan on reading for the month, so I thought I’d wait.

I assigned each month a theme at the beginning of the year to expand my reading base and climb out of reading rut. However, I left April open with the rule I must try at least five new to me authors.

What you reading???

Whoooo you reading

To kick off the month in paper book form I have…

                 Relenteless by Cherry Adair (a favorite)

                Skin Deep (I-team after Hours) by Pamela Clare

                Killing Time by Cindy Gerard

                Obsession Faces of Evil by Debra Webb (new to me)

On my Kindle…

                A Tiger’s Claim by Lia Davis (new to me)

I haven’t decided on a writing craft book for the month because I’m eyeballing a couple of workshops… we’ll see 🙂

So what are you reading??? I’d love to hear suggestions for the remainder of the month especially since I have 3

new to me authors to try out.

Teaser Tuesday

Since it’s the beginning of the month and I have been sort of lame on keeping up with my blog, I thought I do a recap of what I’ve read in September.  I love sharing books I’ve read and hearing what others is reading.  It was a light reading month for me, I had several home projects I needed to complete.

Adult ~

Stygian’s Honor (breed series) by Lora Leigh

*Breaking Point (I-Team series) by Pamela Clare – this was referred to me by my daughter

The Darkest Hour – (KGI series) by Maya Banks

*Sleeping Roses by Rashelle Workman

Savage Hunger by Terry Spears

 

Young Adult~

 

*Tiger Curse (Tiger Curse Series) – Colleen Houck

*Heir of Prophecy (The Prophecy) – Michael A. Rothman

 

*New to me authors.

 

For October I plan on stepping up my young adult reading.  I also shift my reading to a more ‘spooky’ lineup for Halloween 😉 Yup, I’m a kid at heart.

 

I’m sort of discouraged by all the series books…I purchased one that really appealed to me and then realized it was book 3 of a series and I need to track down books 1 and 2 because it’s a continued series. Breaking Point by Pamela Clare is part of a series but also very much a stand a lone book.

 

What are your thoughts on series???  As a writer or a reader???

When I’m not writing…

 

Last week I shared some on my passion for crocheting, this week it’s card making – which I LOVE! From time to time I purchase magazine with card ideas in them but mostly I come up with the ideas on my own. This creative process is a great break from writing. 

 

One thing about making your card is it’s tailored to the person it’s intended for.  Here are some pictures of a card I made for a friend. She helped me make curtains for my office so I wanted to give her a small thank-you.  She is a butterfly admirer so when I saw the article in Sunday’s paper the ideas started to perk.

This card is a tag style that I attached to a box of butterfly flower seeds. I cut out the title “Butterfly Love” because it offered a different word style.  The green background is cardstock that I covered with a floral butterfly design vellum paper. 

 

I’m not a ‘gadet’ collector for this hobby (which my hubby is thankful for – I do love my gadgets). However, I do have a letter punch set that I use all the time. The other ‘accessory’ I have found to be awesome is the instant sticker maker, that I use for all my letters, any cutouts, and pictures.

This card tag is single dimensional which is odd for me. I love to ‘attach’ non-traditional things to my cards. I’ve used shrink objects, small toys, and candy.

 

Any fellow card markers out there? I’d to hear some of the things you’ve done.

Not Writing…

 What do I do when I am not writing? I have several hobbies I enjoy but the one I’m most faithful to is crocheting baby blankets  Here is a picture of a blanket I just finished.  The color didn’t come through ~ it’s mellow sunny yellow. I love the way this one turned out.  The color and the weight of the yarn complemented the design. I combined two patterns and developed the corner technique to achieve this design.

The color and the weight of the yarn complemented the design. I combined two patterns and developed the corner technique to achieve this design.

Sometimes finding the right combination of yarn and pattern isn’t easy. A month ago I purchased some yarn that I love the feel of and the color blend. I’ve start four blankets and have yet to find the match.  So I’ve set that yarn aside, I’ll keep my eye open looking for a pattern. It’s a thick terry cloth style. I don’t want to do a straight stitch because I’m going to end up with a towel blanket – not my goal. I’ve tried a circle pattern but the yarn was too thick regardless of the hook size I used.

 In the meantime, I’ve started a blanket with yarn that I had set aside this winter for the same reason. I couldn’t find a pattern it worked it. I’m about a ¼ of the way done and LOVE it in this pattern.  When I’m done, I’ll post pictures.

Several of my fellow crocheting friends don’t have the struggle with yarn and pattern matching. They simply buy the pattern book and then buy the yarn recommended. I don’t always like to follow the rules. Okay, as with life I rarely follow the rules. As my daughter says, I don’t step out of the box because it doesn’t exist in my world.  And it’s not all about following rules or not – I just find it boring to stick to a pre-determine path.

I want my blankets to ‘unique’ in some way…. Your child in one of a kind so I think the blanket should represent that to a small degree.  Here are a couple more of my favorites….

Maybe too little to wave a flag, but light weight yarn makes it ideal for a cover during the 4th of July fireworks

a little different take on a standard square blanket

So what are some of your hobbies and how have you molded them to fit your personality?